The Goeyvaerts String Trio was founded by violinist Kristien Roels, violist Kris Matthynssens and cellist Pieter Stas in 1997 with the sole aim of performing twentieth- and twenty-first-century repertoire. The trio takes its name from the Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts, who played an important role in developments in European new music. Not only does the ensemble perform existing works, but it also actively commissions new compositions for string trio.
After the trio released its CD recording of string trios by Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Alfred Schnittke on the renowned international label Challenge Records, the recording received the highest possible rating in multiple music magazines, as well as a Gold Label from Klassiek Centraal, a nomination for best CD production for the Belgian classical broadcasting network Klara and a recommendation in Gramophone. In 2012, the Goeyvaerts String Trio released a new CD entitled String Trios from the East featuring compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina, Alexander Knaifel, Oleg Paiberdin and Giya Kancheli. Of this recording, the Dutch music publication
Luister wrote, ‘These three musicians’ performance here borders on the impossible in terms of concentration and precision.’
The trio’s album Stabat Mater, featuring Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater in just intonation and Ivan Moody’s Simeron, followed in 2014. With the support of over 500 international investors, the Goeyvaerts Trio raised £15,000. Of the trio, the Flanders Arts Institute wrote, ‘We already know they’re outstanding performers, but the fact that they managed to pull this off is proof that they’re also enthusiastic entrepreneurs.’ This CD was showered with the highest critical praise, heralded as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and included in the list of the ten best Arvo Pärt recordings of all time, Luister 10. The recording was most recently awarded an Edison, and the trio hailed by Klara as ensemble of the year. The Belgian city of Sint-Niklaas also honoured the trio with its 2014 Culture Prize.